Rodriguez returns to Yankees lineup vs. Indians

CLEVELAND -- Alex Rodriguez ran himself back into the starting lineup.

After missing three games with a strained right quadriceps, A-Rod was back at third base and batting cleanup Friday night as the New York Yankees opened a three-game series with a 6-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians.

As manager Joe Girardi and members of the club's medical and training staffs looked on, Rodriguez tested his leg in the outfield about three hours before the first pitch. Rodriguez did some jogging and then some half-speed sprints before playing catch for a few minutes.

He told Girardi he was fine, and a few minutes later, Rodriguez's name was back in a familiar place on the clubhouse lineup card.

"I'm excited to see him out there. He said he felt good so I told him to 'Go on, get out there but don't get too froggy," Girardi said. "You know, don't try leaping around too much."

Rodriguez hurt his leg while running out a fielder's choice on Sunday in Baltimore. Because of the injury, he was able to travel home to Miami to be there for the birth of his daughter. He received treatment on his leg while in Florida and rejoined the Yankees on Thursday in Chicago.

The AL's reigning MVP is batting .308 with four homers and 10 RBIs in 20 games.

Girardi said he'll monitor Rodriguez closely over the next few games. It's still possible Rodriguez could be the DH during part of the series, New York's first visit since last year's playoffs.

"To me, it's the sprinting on the bases," Girardi said. "He's going to have to run the bases no matter what."

Yankees reliever Brian Bruney has been advised to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right foot, an injury he sustained earlier this week while covering first base.

Bruney, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, has a Lisfranc injury in his mid-foot. It's an injury more commonly seen in football players.

"It's bad," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said before his club opened a four-game series with Cleveland. "The doctor recommended surgery and it is going to be a while before he's pitching. From what I understand, if somebody in 1793 had it, they amputated."

Before Bruney twisted his foot, he was 1-0 with one save and a 1.59 ERA this season. Girardi had been mostly using the right-hander in the middle innings, but he made his first career start on April 9 after 157 relief appearances. He went 3-2 with a 4.68 ERA in 58 relief games for New York last season.

"It's a big loss. He's been pitching well," Girardi said. "Other guys have to step up for us now."

Girardi said Bruney is taking a few days to consider the operation.

"He has to make the determination," Girardi said. "He just got the news and will probably need a few days to think. We'll proceed very carefully. Usually with an injury to a pitcher's legs, you think about hurting his arm when he tries to compensate. The last thing we want to do is hurt his arm."

With Bruney and their bullpen somewhat overworked, the Yankees recalled right-hander Jonathan Albaladejo from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This is his third stint already this season with the Yankees. He had a 3.18 ERA in two games.

The team also called up right-hander Chris Britton from Scranton and designated for assignment veteran catcher Chad Moeller.

Britton was 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in eight games at Triple-A. He stay with New York could be a short one. With Cleveland set to pitch left-handers Jeremy Sowers, C.C. Sabathia and Aaron Laffey over the next three days, Girardi said he may recall right-handed hitter Shelley Duncan from the minors.